Building on the theme of my last Sun-Sentinel post — “Our ultimate challenge is as old…as history itself: how to coexist (and survive) on this planet.” — I have a new one that gives a concrete example that’s been in the news lately. I’ll continue to expand this argument over the coming months and years as I build up to (yet another) book on the role of international law in the new world that is rapidly arriving, whether we like it or not. You’ll recognize my plea for an “empathetic” foreign policy, but you may not have thought of how that applies to China until you read this post.
Nobel Prize-winning international economist Paul Krugman has stirred up a debate over China’s exchange rate–and specifically, what the United States should do about it. Again, I don’t have time to wade into all the details, but it gives me an opportunity to repost a column I wrote for the Hazleton Standard-Speaker. (If you want to dive into the actual debate, you can find informed views here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
This debate follows on the heels of another one that possessed America’s chattering classes at the end of 2009: whether the United States is losing its dominance to China and India–and of course, what to do about it. Sadly, few observers have made the connection between the two issues. Recall what I said last week about the long reach of history and the fundamental challenge we face: “how to coexist (and survive) on this planet.”
It turns out those British history books are a good place to start, as I explained in August 2007: Continue reading “Learning from History, Rising Superpower Edition”